Thursday, August 29, 2013

Eastern time warp

Still working on getting back to east coast time - not very successfully.  It is almost 2:am here and I am just thinking  I should get to bed because my body thinks it is 11:pm.

I could have sworn the sun was out by the time I finally woke up this morning, but it disappeared mid-morning under a tropical downpour that lasted for several hours.  So much for my intended food shopping expedition: I did not leave the house till my 4:pm trudge up to the mailbox.

BUT - just as well, because I was forced to continue cleaning off the dining room table for the whole day. Progress, sort of.

I've been throwing out pictures of scenery, people either I don't know or that my children (who will inherit this stuff) don't know, and all the blurry pictures of unidentifiable objects and persons.

I have been filling 9x12 envelopes for friends and relatives, of people whose faces they would like to have: ancestors; deceased parents, and the like. 

This past weekend in the East Bay, I handed my friend Michael pictures of his parents who were close friends of my own parents.  Tomorrow, I am having lunch with a friend I haven't seen in years so I can give her some photos of her late mother. I have tracked down the daughter of my mother's first cousin because I have pictures of her parents and her grandparents that I suspect she has never seen because they belonged to my grandmother and when she died, my mother took them.  But what about the people whose offspring have died or moved or married or live in foreign countries and I don't know who/what/where they are?  What do I do with the pictures of my grandfather's sister's grandchildren in Israel or Argentina, whose names I don't know - but whose parents(no doubt dead) I have pictures of?

All of this requires decision-making: there are duplicates and triplicates of photos I already own.  What do I do with them?  There are five billion pictures of baby Rayna (aren't there always of the first kid?) - Rayna in the carriage; in blonde curls, in braids as she grew, and then after the braids were cut off in 3rd grade.  Oh, yes - and what do I do with the braids, which are still in virgin condition, wrapped in tissue paper? And the curl from my first haircut?  REALLY!

The last straw was this photo. This vicious-looking creature was in our backyard at a picnic.  We never owned a dog; none of our guests owned a dog. What was this?

And why, when I turned the picture over, had my mother written "Decoration Day, 1959."
Why on earth would she keep a picture of a random animal?  But why not? She kept everything else. Trust me, I am not keeping it.

Sigh...I am off to bed.


Carol Stearns said...

I know what you are going through. Hard to know what to do. Just keep on and do a bit of sewing to relieve the stress.

Bonnie Miller said...

Cleaning out an estate is a long and painful business, but I can share an amusing story of an event after my dear Mum's death. She was a widow since 1957. We never had much of anything after Dad died...but she made sure we were always happy. We lived in a state house until I left home...and she continued to live in one until we built her a wee granny flat on our property in 1990. She died in 1993...and we had Mr Longley as her undertaker. Mum used to love a bargain, so to keep her happy we went to the social welfare department to see whether she qualified for help towards her funeral costs...and she fell int the highest category of $1500! She would be thrilled...but she would have laughed until she turned crimson at the letter we got stating that we would " hear from Mr Longley shortly." Talk about the long and short of it!

Connie Rose said...

Oh, that last bit was so funny. Glad you're slowly settling back into east coast time, and hope you get to the end, soon, of all the family paperwork, photos, etc. In time for the new year! xo

Julie said...

You've made inroads into that dining table Rayna so well done! I too have so many of my mum's photos to sort out and dispose of. She does not remember many of the people in them but recently I was able to identify one signed from 'Joan'. Mum remembers her cousin and we recently were contacted by her daughter who was researching her mum's family and found us online. I can't say how excited I was to connect this photo of a 20 year old girl with the 87 year old now living in Canada.

GerryART said...

Ohhhhhhhhh, Rayna

Wouldn't ya love another road trip getaway

And a couple of extra hugs

Rayna said...

Yes, more road trips coming in the next 3 months.

Helen said...

You are doing your children a great favor. Keep on....

Karoda said...

As a person who has to fight the compulsion to rescue old photos from 2nd hand stores, I'm trying to come up with an answer for you. So far, I think they spark the imagination. You're wondering about them and so will your grand children and great grandchildren. The wondering part is just seeds, who knows where it will take future generations.

Maybe you could just keep organizing them and place them in a way they are better archived.

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